Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.
The so-called “Camp Fire” in Butte County, California, is now the most destructive fire in the history of state. Dozens of people are confirmed dead, while hundreds are still missing. Thousands of homes have been destroyed, including nearly the entire town of Paradise, roughly just 150 miles to the west of Reno. Some of our colleagues at our sister paper the Chico News & Review have lost their homes. Check out the promo on page 30 for ways to help our neighbors.
More sad news: I was heartbroken to learn about the death of former Marvel Comics writer, editor and publisher Stan Lee. Marvel Comics were the most important thing in the world to me between the ages of 8 and 12. I learned a lot about storytelling, humor and compassion from those books. I learned that the things that make us weird can also be the things that make us special. From the X-Men, I learned how to work on a team. From the Fantastic Four, I learned how to work with a family. And from Spider-Man, of course, I learned, “with great power, comes great responsibility.”
The characters he created and co-created—like Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther and dozens more—form a great mythology that will live on long after we’re all gone. Marvel Comics and the movies adapted from them have long been one of the best things for me and my son Clifford, who’s now 12, to bond over.
And Stan Lee—and the amazing stories he wrote and published—is one of the biggest reasons why I love print and will always love print. I love newspapers, but I loved comicbooks first. And in this space, it’s important to mention that his monthly column “Stan’s Soapbox” was the first editor’s note I ever read on a regular basis.
He’ll be missed.
R.I.P. Stan Lee, 1922-2018.